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ctophil

Adventure Games

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You know, I'm a big RPG gamer as everyone else here on this forum. But there is one genre that hasn't been talked about much thus far: Adventure Games. Though the gameplay is never as in depth as an RPG (nothing else is more in depth anyways), Adventure Games usually has a fantastic story, dramatic music & sound, and very well developed characters. One of the most fun and interesting aspect of Adventure Games is choice. Especially modern ones, the choice you choose makes a very dramatic impact on the story and changes in the characters' behaviors on how they respond to you, either they are your friend, forgive you and stay neutral, or betray you. This surely also impacts the ending and important events in the game.

So, the Adventure genre is in some ways similar to RPGs with the story elements but brought to even more in depth interactive storytelling. I love the genre, probably even more so than RPGs sometimes. Though the gameplay is fairly basic, Adventure Games have the potential to really make leaps and bounds in the near future with better technology. You might be familiar with the old King's Quest series on the PC. Those were very early adventure titles. People sometimes call them "Point & Click" adventures. These days, however, the genre has evolved to point, click, puzzle-solving, timed button events, and uses of the Xbox 360 Kinect and Playstation Move for more interaction. Adventure games require a lot of reading and watching the story unfold, but you're already used to that with RPGs, no? Hehe. Listed below are some of the best Adventure games I played on various systems so you can get started with the genre if you ever so inclined.

Nintendo DS

1. 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors -- Fantastic story and moral choices, affecting the numerous different endings and branching story events you can get. Nice anime-style character portraits. Highly recommended.

2. Again -- This has a lot of investigating, manipulating with your stylus to check clues and stuff. Story is cool as well with many twists and turns.

3. Hotel Dusk -- Nice adventure mystery in a hotel. A lot of investigating similar to the title above. Super twist towards the end of the game.

4. Phoenix Wright series -- This series is also on the Wiiware. More murder mystery solving as Attorney Phoenix Wright. It's a funny game with extremely dramatic and funky characters in the court sessions--the highlight of the series. Highly recommended as well.

5. Lux Pain -- This one is more a modern day supernatural title. You sometimes fight odd-looking demons and stuff using the stylus. The storyline can be off-the-wall at times. But it has cool anime cut scenes and anime chicks you can woo if you enjoy that kind of stuff. lol.

PC

1. King's Quest Series -- As I said, this series was back in the 1990s. A lot of point and click, but still fun even in today's standards.

2. Syberia I & II (Syberia III just started in development) -- Fantastic adventure and mystery even until the very end of the game. It also has this feel of "fantasy" in a modern setting throughout the game. Makes you feel like you are discovering an ancient world. Cool story.

3. Gabriel Knight series -- Although I never got a chance to play too much of the series, it was great from what I played. The story has a conspiracy and mystery vibe to it the whole time, very interesting. This was also back in the 1990s. But that was during the dawn of the best adventure games ever.

4. Broken Sword series -- Another mystery and conspiracy series. I played only the first one, but still very good. Nice graphics & animation for the 1990s. I believe Broken Sword 3 & 4 came out later for the consoles as well after the year 2000. They are still working on a new Broken Sword as we speak.

5. Myst -- Eh, too much puzzle-solving with hardly any story. It is still the one of the best-seller in the genre.

Playstation 2

1. Indigo Prophecy (this is on PC & Xbox as well) -- This was a murder thriller. However, as you play the game, it will open up to a very secret mystery that you will never guess until the very end. Super highly recommended! This game got me back into adventure games back in 2006 from a long slumber. This should be your first adventure game if you never tried out the genre yet, since it encompasses all of the best attributes from the genre and gives you a good understanding of it.

2. Shadow of Destiny -- I have this game but never got to play. But it is still recommended by the adventure community.

Playstation 3

1. Heavy Rain -- From the makers of Indigo Prophecy, this one has moral choices you can make to change the story events and ending. Top-notch game you should not miss playing before you die. Also compatible with Playstation Move.

2. The Walking Dead (also available on Xbox 360 & PC)-- I just finished playing this one. I highly recommend this one as well. This game will truly affect you emotionally since what you do or say will affect a group morality of survival and future events of the game, including a future season coming out this year. The first season (which is available now) has 5 episodes. Each episode is about 2-3 hours of gameplay. Love it, go buy it now. lol.

3. Beyond: Two Souls -- This one will be coming out sometime this year, also from the makers of Indigo Prophecy and Heavy Rain. The game stars a young lady who is running away from a SWAT Team. Not sure why she is escaping from them yet, but she has supernatural abilities via a astral entity following her around who gives her these abilities. Quite interesting, be on a lookout for it.

If you want more lowdowns on all the cool adventure games (back in the day or recently), go to http://www.adventuregamers.com'>http://www.adventuregamers.com to do some reading.

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The adventure genre is my absolute favorite, and I'm dying with anticipation for "Asylum" from Senscape to come out later this year (fingers crossed). I'll add to your list, if you don't mind, with a few favorites of my own.

On the PC:

Scratches - This game added a ton of new chapters to the book on atmospheric adventure games, following in the steps of Jonathan Boakes' Darkfall series (all of which are must-plays as well). Your protagonist is a horror novelist who purchases an old, abandoned mansion only to discover it may not be as abandoned as he was previously led to believe.

Barrow Hill - Another spooky night out, this time in Cornwall, England. Driving through a rural area in the middle of the night, your car dies. As you hike to the gas station to find help, you learn something hideous is on the rampage, and you're the only person capable of putting things back together as they should be. Matt Clark's debut as a solo designer, and I eagerly await the follow-up, Bracken Tor.

The Lost Crown - An utterly stunning third-person adventure by Boakes, starring a pair of paranormal investigators from Darkfall, done almost entirely in black and white, with splashes of colour mixed in for effect. He's working on the next game in the series, and I can't wait.

*huggles*
Areala

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Oh yeah, I heard of Scratches and Barrow Hill, not sure about The Lost Crown (I will look into it though). I wanted to play Scratches a couple of years ago but got too scared to touch it. lol. In fact, there are some parts in Silent Hill 2 that made me stop playing it all together. Fatal Frame series also come to mind. I used to play those games with two other friends, and we still jumped! haha.

There is another game that kinda got me started with Adventure Games was D on the Sega Saturn. That game was weird. Even today, I'm not quite sure if the main character was getting flashbacks of her family or some other family being cannibals or something. But it has to be the shortest adventure game of all time, like 2 hours long I believe.

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Yeah, 'D' and its two sequels ('Enemy Zero' and 'D2') are some bizarre games. You have to complete the first one within 2 hours or else it just ends on you (no save feature either). :)

I had a similar experience with 'Silent Hill 2' in that no matter how badly I wanted to continue playing it, my brain would say, "That's enough of that for now. Time to stop and do something else," and I would have to shut it off. It's the only game in the series that has ever gotten under my skin to the point I had to put it down for a while, something both profoundly disturbing and yet awesome in its implications. :)

*huggles*
Areala

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I'm currently playing L.A. Noire for Xbox 360. Definitely another good adventure game in my book. The facial animations are awesome. They made it so you can figure out people's facial expressions to see if they are lying or telling the truth during the game's interrogation scenes. I also like the car and foot chase scenes, as well as the slower-paced investigation moments. It reminds me of the Phoenix Wright games mixed with Grand Theft Auto (you can grab any car in the streets by showing your cop badge).

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Through most of my youth in the 80s and early 90s, arcades, platformers, and other action genres were my main staple. After I discovered RPGs through Dragon Quest, that genre also became a big part of my gaming experience.

I had seen some examples of the Adventure genre back in the 80s via DOS ports of 70s mainframe text adventures Advent and Zork, but I never got very far into them. Then there was the Maniac Mansion port for the NES that I also never could get through. In the early 90s, Someone brought a copy of Leisure Suit Larry into my high school computer lab, but I didn't get to spend more than a couple minutes tinkering around and probably never even made it into the bar. It wasn't until the mid 90s with Myst and King's Quest 6 (CD version) and the purchase of my first PC that I really dove into the genre, soon buying compilations of all the past Sierra quests. I also got into some of Sierra's then newer IPs, such as Gabriel Knight, which gave me inspiration for my user name.

I had played through pretty much all the Sierra library by the time the genre collapsed and the company pretty much folded by the end of the 90s (most LucasArts adventures didn't draw enough of my attention to spend money on them). A couple years later, I got back into console gaming with my first PS2 and eventually a Nintendo DS. Somehow I built up a huge backlog of games to play from multiple genres, and Adventure games have slipped back into a serious minority in that.

As for the games listed above, I've either already played most or haven't had enough interest to check out the others due to so many other games I want to play. But here's a few thoughts:

999 - oh man, I wish I had bought this for a relatively low retail price when I had the chance. But I didn't want to then as no one I knew had said anything about the game at the time. By the time I started hearing people rave on it more recently, it's now very hard to find a complete-in-box copy for a decent price. I'd also be interested in the (semi?)sequel Virtue's Last Reward, but I don't even have the system to play that on.

Phoenix Wright - looks interesting enough, but I never got around to seriously checking it out. At this point there's so many games to catch up on, my completionism wouldn't be satisfied until I played them all, and my backlog is bloated enough as it is :(

Lux-Pain - the poor man's 999. I seriously bought this thinking it would be a decent alternative to 999 once I heard how good that game was, but I'm afraid I'm being sorely disappointed. The concept seems solid enough, but the execution leaves a bit to be desired. On top of that, the translation is borderline terrible, even disagreeing on the game being set in Japan or the US depending on the captions or voice acting.

The Walking Dead - looks cool, but I have no way of playing it and am borderline tired of the zombie story genre at this point.

Indigo Prophecy - I may check that out, if I can find it for a reasonable price. I had no idea the PS2 even had pure adventure games (besides Myst series ports), heh.

Heavy Rain; Beyond: Two Souls - I probably would like these if I end up liking Indigo. From the previews I have seen of Beyond, it does look quite interesting, especially the facial capture tech they're using. See video below:

(note to eDay or Philly: we are missing the Media tag from the formatting hotbar... well, it's there under eBay, but that's not very intuitive)

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Hey, 999 can still be found on Amazon.com for $19.99. They re-released it with a different cover. But it's the same game. Oh, I enjoyed the game very much. I even thought about the ending long after the game was over. :-) Check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/9-Hours-Persons-Doors-Nintendo-DS/dp/B003VR5PPY/ref=sr_1_1?s=videogames&ie=UTF8&qid=1360966975&sr=1-1&keywords=999+9+hours.+9+persons.+9+doors

As for Indigo Prophecy, you must play it. Even if you don't like Adventure games, it will pull you in like no other game. I remember playing the demo before it came out. I played the demo over 20 times just to see how the conversations and story changed! There are multiple endings too like 999, depending on how you acted throughout the game. Here's a used but complete copy on eBay for $20.00: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Indigo-Prophecy-Sony-PlayStation-2-2005-PS2-Complete-/281051278160?pt=Video_Games_Games&hash=item416ff62b50

You can still buy a new copy for $50.00 on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Indigo-Prophecy-Playstation-2/dp/B0007OGDIC/ref=sr_1_1?s=videogames&ie=UTF8&qid=1360967102&sr=1-1&keywords=Indigo+prophecy

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I just missed bidding on a complete copy of Indigo Prophecy for less than $10 by less than half an hour thanks to forgetting to check on it until coming here just now. That's what I get for trying to snipe without a better plan, eh? I'll keep an eye on that other copy, but there's another auction ending in the next few days for something else I'm watching too.

Looking into the synopsis of Indigo Prophecy reminds me of the plot of the old 8-bit game Deja Vu, at least initially.

http://www.mobygames.com/game/dj-vu-a-nightmare-comes-true

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Great lists! I too enjoy the adventure games more than many others. I also like RPG games as well. I like an open world to explore over a set of boundaries I have to follow.

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